Today’s News & Commentary — March 27, 2018
“Technical education struggles to gain funding traction,” Rafael Bernal writes at The Hill. Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs have received attention in light of concerns about the “skills gap” in the U.S. economy (which we’ve briefly covered here and here). The Strengthening Career Technical Education for the 21st Century Act would reauthorize, with slight changes, the Perkins Act, which set guidelines for federally-funded CTE programs.
At the New York Times, Michael Corkery describes how grocery store chains are putting local grocers in bankruptcy, threatening the employment of thousands of workers, “many of whom belong to labor unions and are owed pensions when they retire.” As the article explains, the challenges facing many failing supermarkets are partly attributable to the fact that they are owned by private equity firms that have loaded them with debt, thus limiting their ability to compete. These issues have also played a role in declining union membership—United Food and Commercial Workers (the largest grocery union) has experienced a 9% decrease in membership since 2002.
Yesterday, Adam Winkler, a law professor at UCLA, appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air to discuss his book, We the Corporations. The book chronicles how business corporations have successfully fought throughout U.S. history to gain nearly equal rights under the Constitution as people. A review of the book can be found here.
On Friday, a former detainee at an immigration detention facility filed a motion seeking class certification in his suit against a private prison company (Chen v. The GEO Group). The suit alleges that the company paid detainees one dollar per day for working at the facility, in violation of state minimum wage laws.